Global Credit Union began as Fairchild Federal Credit Union in October 1954. Mary Milla, a secretary who worked at Fairchild Air Force Base, founded the credit union on the Base as a means to serve the financial needs of the military and civil service employees at Fairchild.
An informal meeting was held, including Milla and a handful of military officials, in Milla's own kitchen. After approval by the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions, the organization was established with a start-up fund of $284. By the end of its first year, Fairchild Federal Credit Union's assets grew to $39,177, representing the savings of 647 members. By 1959, the credit union boasted assets of $2.5 million.
After exchanging letters with the Department of Defense, FFCU was chosen from 12 qualified applicants to establish branches on overseas U.S. military bases. An office opened at Aviano Air Force Base in Italy in May 1969. Later that year, a second branch opened at Vicenza and by the following year, a third at Camp Darby. A fourth Italian branch was established in 1977 at San Vito.
The credit union was originally housed in a World War II structure that served as an X-ray lab during the 1940s. In February 1976, FFCU moved its headquarters from Fairchild Air Force Base to its current offices in downtown Spokane, continuing to operate a branch at Fairchild.
In May 1982, the Board of Directors approved a request by the Department of Defense to provide credit union service to the Department's personnel stationed at Incirlik and Izmir, Turkey. Two other offices opened earlier that year in Athens, Greece, and Iraklion, Crete. These offices, as well as the two in Turkey, closed at the end of that same year due to governmental cutbacks in military spending. However, a branch was opened in May 1987 at an Air Force missile facility in Comiso, Sicily.
The credit union's first drive-up facilities opened in 1985 at the Main branch and at Fairchild. By the following year, FFCU had established a branch inside Tidyman's supermarket--the first of its kind on the West Coast.
In 1988, the Board of Directors voted to change the credit union's name to better reflect its diverse membership and to enhance growth potential. A contest was held among the membership, with three selected entries sent to the National Credit Union Administration for approval. Fairchild Federal Credit Union officially became Global Federal Credit Union on April 1, 1989.
From 1990 to 1998, six more branches opened, including four in Idaho, one in Spokane Valley and another on the campus of Gonzaga University. In 1996, the credit union was honored as the best credit union servicing the Air Force, a distinction they would duplicate in 2004 within the Army.
In 1997, Global Federal Credit Union converted to a state-chartered credit union to improve its market share and to better serve its existing membership. In 1998, the Board of Directors applied for and received a community charter, giving the credit union the ability to serve anyone who lives or works in Spokane County. Global was granted community charters for several counties in Idaho in 2000, and a statewide community charter for Washington State in 2002. The first location to benefit from this statewide charter was the Tri-cities when in 2003 grocery store branches were opened in both Pasco and Kennewick, Washington.
In response to a growing reputation as a source of first-rate business banking, in 2004, Global Credit Union opened its much anticipated full-service Member Business Services, located on Riverside, in the heart of Spokane’s financial district.
In 2006, a full-service financial center opened its doors in Kennewick. This location provides the ever growing Tri-cities area with industry leading member services as well as innovative consumer, real estate and commercial lending services.
To date, Global Credit Union has total assets of nearly $360 million. Approximately 150 dedicated professionals serve Global's 50,000+ members. Today, three branches are operating in Italy on U.S. military installations, with 11 branches located in Washington and Idaho.
The sky’s the limit for Global Credit Union with its ongoing vision for the future and unmatched commitment to its members. Global Credit Union is now one of the largest credit unions in the Pacific Northwest and is a recognized leader within the communities it serves.